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Recent Restaurant Reviews and News

Written By Scott Joseph On November 2, 2017

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News from the Flog  

Recent Restaurant Reviews

Too Much Sauce

sauce bowl interior

I cringed just a little when I first heard about Too Much Sauce, not because of the name, which is indeed cringeworthy, but because it is yet another in the long line of assemblage restaurants. Maybe it wasn’t a cringe; it might have been an eye roll. I definitely sighed.

But I found this new restaurant in the Mills 50 district to be absolutely charming and much less annoying than the average choose-from-each-column concept. And, not incidentally, the food was good.


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Sinatra’s Ristorante

Sinatra ext

I avoid restaurants on holidays. It’s difficult to get a snapshot of how the restaurant usually does business. And by snapshot I mean both literally and figuratively: It isn’t desirable to have a photo of a dining room decked out for Christmas in a review that will live throughout the year.

Or in the case of Sinatra’s Ristorante, one staged for Halloween. Actually, I’m not so certain that it isn’t always set for Halloween. After all, the restaurant is in Cassadaga, the unincoporated community also known as the Psychic Capital of the World. Halloween, it would seem, is a big deal here.


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New Restaurants Announced for Disney Springs

Maria and Enzo logos.001

FIRST ON SJO — Three new venues have been confirmed for Disney Springs: Maria & Enzo’s, an Italian trattoria; Enzo’s Hideaway, a speakeasy; and Pizza Ponte, a fast-casual concept. All three are being developed by the Patina Restaurant Group and will be located next to the Edison, which is also under construction.

The trattoria’s backstory, because all venues at Disney Springs must have one, is that it occupies an abandoned airline terminal from the 1930s. Its decor will feature air travel memorabilia and maps. The dining room will have 50-foot ceilings and a view of Lake Buena Vista, so apparently the airline terminal served seaplanes. The menu will have a Sicilian accent, with Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan), and handmade pastas served tableside. Other highlights include fresh fish, steaks and chops.


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Hawkers’ Corporate Headquarters Takes Over Church Street

Church Street walkway

Hawkers, the Asian Street Fare concept, is moving its Central Kitchen headquarters to downtown Orlando and will be located on Church Street.

Make that over Church Street. The Central Florida-grown mini-chain will move from Clermont to 54 W. Church St. and its new space will incorporate the glass-enclosed bridge that spans the street at Church Street Market.

“I can’t tell you how excited we are to get back to the urban core,” said co-founder Kaleb Harrell. Team members, he said, have created a hashtag — #CountdownToDowntown — that they use as shorthand whenever they become frustrated with commuting to the current headquarters.

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Emeril’s Tchoup Chop Closing


Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, the pseudo Hawaiian restaurant developed by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, will close Dec. 31. The restaurant, which opened in 2003, is in the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando.

Staff members were informed of the impending closing Thursday evening.

Tchoup Chop, which got its name from Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans and which Lagasse had first intended to be a steakhouse in that city, had a rocky start.

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Other Stuff

Whisper Creek Farms Event a Success on Multiple Levels

Harvest scene

Our friends at Grande Lakes Orlando put on a terrific event last week, and for the first time opened the grounds of the resort’s onsite gardens, Whisper Creek Farms, to the public.

The occasion was the first Homestead Harvest, which featured not only the talented chefs of the restaurants at the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott but also some of the top chefs from the community.


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Where Will You Dine on Thanksgiving?

Thanksgviing is coming up; no time to waste in making reservations. Follow this link to our list of restaurants that will be open on Nov. 23. And restaurateurs, if you want to be added to the list, send me a note.

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Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide | P.O. Box 568344 | Orlando | FL | 32856

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